Jackson: "My boys have had a right go and left everything out there"

Johnnie Jackson was delighted with his side’s dogged display as the Addicks earned a 1-1 draw with Rotherham United in SE7 on Tuesday night.

Conor Washington fired home to level proceedings seven minutes from time after Mickel Miller had volleyed the visitors ahead in first-half stoppage time.

“I thought it was a good game,” Jackson told CharltonTV. “Two good teams going at it. Rotherham are a good side, we knew their threats and they didn’t disappoint; they make things very, very difficult for you. Obviously they’ve got that goal just on half-time and I think there wasn’t anything in the game really in the first-half. 

“That changed the complexion of it a little bit and we’ve had to come out second-half and, to be fair to my boys, they’ve had a right go there. They’ve left everything out there. They were front foot. We’ve got the goal, a good goal, and I think we were pushing for the win. I felt if one team was going to go on and win it, it would be us. But you have to accept that Rotherham are a good side and that’s a good battling point.”

The Millers were fortunate to see Michael Ihiekwe remain on the pitch after the defender brought down Alex Gilbey on the hour mark while already on a yellow card, though, nonetheless, Jackson was pleased with his side’s response thereafter.

“Perhaps it is [a sending off],” he said. “Sometimes it can be difficult playing against 10 as well. They’d have probably changed the way they were going about things. For me, it’s probably a second yellow - it was disappointing. Obviously they take him [Michael Ihiekwe] off straight after which probably tells you everything you need to know. So, disappointing that one didn’t go our way and that might have changed the complexion of it. But it wasn’t, it didn’t happen and we carried on regardless. We carried on being relentless in our attacking play and certainly at least one goal was what we deserved.

“We knew their threats, the long throw, the crosses into the box,” added the Caretaker Manager. “It’s something that we spoke about a lot, we worked on it a little bit yesterday so I’m disappointed with the nature of the goal. We’ve stood up to that test really of balls into our box and everything for all but one minute of the game and that costs you. Against good teams that costs you and right on half-time it was a bit of a suckerblow.

“I’m absolutely delighted with the lads. I said from day one when I was put in charge that I would demand that they play for the shirt, that they give everything out on that pitch, they become a battling team and they give the supporters something to be proud of. And they’re doing that. I can’t ask any more of them as far as the graft that they are putting in, the endeavour. So, I’m really, really pleased with them."

The Addicks’ Caretaker Manager reserved particular praise for goalscorer Conor Washington, while also praising the vocal Charlton faithful.

“It’s a great goal from Conor [Washington], you know what he’s like,” explained Jackson. “He chases lost causes all night, he makes good runs, he gets in good positions. Perhaps he should have had more than the one goal and perhaps that was the hardest one out of the chances that he had, but a great goal. He chased the defender down when perhaps he had no right to win it and a good finish as well. So, I was pleased for Conor, his performance deserved that goal.

“I’ve said when you give [the supporters] that graft they will get behind you,” he continued. “That’s exactly what they did. We came out second-half, for me, with a clear intention of what we were going to go about and do and try and go at the opposition. We did that and the supporters could see that. They get right behind it. They were pushing, pushing, pushing. Even after we scored, pushing for a winner. Unfortunately we couldn’t get it but I thought a draw was the least we deserved.” 

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